In a hilarious but real incident, Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam reached India Gate lawns in New Delhi on Sunday as part of the fortnight-long ‘Swachhta Hi Sewa’ campaign. To his surprise, there was no garbage at the place where he was supposed to kick off the drive.
It was the ministry officials and volunteers, mostly college students, who went about “arranging” some garbage for the newly appointed tourism minister. It was then, when Kannanthanam began collecting litter, including empty water bottles, pan masala sachets, ice-cream cups and dry leaves with his hands.
Many onlookers were unable to recognise the minister as he shook hands with them, patted some on the back, while asking people to keep the place clean.
He also chatted with those selling street food like ‘gol gappas’, asking them questions about how much they earned and also advising them to ask their customers to throw the leftover food and plates into the dustbin.
He was quoted saying, “How much do you earn per day? Do you tell customers to throw the waste plates and tissues in the dustbin kept with you? Help us in making India clean.”
The minister concluded though a place like India Gate is cleaned every day, there was a need to improve cleanliness.